It is my third year here in Adelaide, and one of the struggles I had (and still do) was saving money. As international students living away from home, we try to save as much as we could for several different reasons: you don’t want to spend too much of your parents’ money, you want to do more shopping, you’re saving up for your future, and so forth. So, here are 4 ways that I found helpful in saving money!
1. Cook at home
I lived alone for a year now and I learned that cooking your own food can save a lot of money. Eating out can cost nearly 15-20$ per meal, cheapest being around 7-8$. How much more can you cook if you have that much money? Fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and other ingredients can be bought cheaply at the markets. By using the money you spent on eating out on groceries, you can cook enough for several meals.
Many can argue that they are too busy to cook. I agree. I’ve been there. And I found this to be quite helpful: cooking in bulk. By cooking in bulk, I mean to cook a dish or two in a large quantity and saving it in the fridge for other days. By doing that, you don’t have to cook everyday! Of course, cooking at home takes time, energy and effort, but it saves money, it’s healthier and you are actually physically active while cooking.
2. Use your student status to your advantage!
Are you aware that with your student card you can get discounts at certain stores and restaurants, transportation fares and even movie tickets? Restaurants and food stalls in most food courts will have a student discount! Just show them your student card and you will receive 10% discount or free drink! There is also concession price for movie tickets too! Just visit any cinema and show your student card. Depending on cinemas, Mondays or Tuesdays are cheap movie days!
If you are into student discounts and vouchers, take a look at these two sites as well:
Not only that, if you look behind Coles’ receipts, you can find a few discounts too! You can also find this online: http://www.shopadocket.com.au/
3. Choose your surroundings
What I mean by this is choosing the people that you surround yourself with. I have many friends who love to go out, eat in fancy restaurants and shops whenever they feel like it. On the other hand, I have a group of friends who are careful with their spendings. While I love both groups so much, I have to be very cautious when I am around the first group. If you have any friend that loves to spend money and eat out, I advise you to not be ashamed and let them know that you are saving money. This way, they are aware and would not push you to go out so often. Of course, go out and enjoy yourself once in a while! 🙂
Another advice I would like to give is to save money with a friend. Let someone close to you, who can keep you accountable, know that you are trying to save money. This person will surely help you!
4. Cheap activities!!!
Lastly, there are many activities that you can do for free or cheaper price! First activity I did when I arrived in Adelaide was to visit the South Australian Museum. This museum do have entree fee, but it is worth it! Their displays and collections are updated quite frequently too! Other places like Migration Museum, Art Gallery, National Wine Centre and Tandanya Cultural Institute are all free to visit.
Adelaide is small, but there are many events and locations you can visit. The Night Market, the Market Shed, Botanic Garden, Central Market, Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Zoo and North Terrace precincts are a few places that you can visit. You can walk around and have a look without actually having to spend money. Also, Adelaide has many parks which you can gather your friends to do barbeque, play sports or even to just chill out!
So these are the four tips that I found useful in saving money. Of course, saving money is a good thing, but don’t forget to reward yourself and spend a few bucks once in a while! You need to explore and enjoy living here!